Revellers take part in the "Plague Doctors Procession" in Venice on Tuesday night during the usual period of the Carnival festivities, most of which have been canceled following the coronavirus outbreak in northern Italy. Photo: Andrea Pattaro/AFP via Getty Images
The big picture: Most of the 80,000 COVID-19 infections have occurred in mainland China. But cases are starting to surge elsewhere. By Wednesday morning, the worst affected countries outside China were South Korea (1,146), where a U.S. soldier tested positive to the virus, Italy (332), Japan (170), Iran (95) and Singapore (91). On Tuesday, new cases were confirmed in Switzerland, Croatia and Algeria.
Candidates spoke past their allotted time, punched the air, talked over each other and at times looked into the camera and directly addressed the American public and Russian President Vladimir Putin at Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina, the last before Saturday's primary and Super Tuesday a few days following.
Why it matters: South Carolina's contest on Saturday is a measure of African-American support for the 2020 contenders. It's the make-or-break state for former Vice President Joe Biden after he underperformed in the first three contests. It's also a chance to check Sen. Bernie Sanders' momentum, which has eaten into Biden's lead in the state and propelled Sanders to the front of the pack.
The U.S. travel and tourism sector is set for a drop of 6 million international visitors because of the novel coronavirus, costing $19 billion in spending this year, per a report by Tourism Economics. "The present declines appear likely to be worse than what the US experienced in 2003 [after the SARS outbreak]," the report states.
The big picture: The global outlook is just as bleak. The report was released on March 11, two days after Italy announced a nationwide lockdown after a surge in cases. Since then, several countries have followed suit, European travelers face U.S. travel restrictions and the CDC has recommended gatherings of 50 or more people be postponed or canceled for eight weeks. The outbreak's impact is evident at many top travel destinations, where once-bustling hubs have been transformed into virtual ghost towns.